Kunal Kohli has been associated with ‘All Inspired Films” since his first venture released in 2002. And working on the same formula, after a whole decade he once again comes up with a film based on another borrowed idea, this time taken from a Taiwanese film called “Three Times” or “Zui Hao De Shi Guang”. Reportedly Imtiaz Ali was also inspired from the same film for making his “Love Aaj Kal”. But then he didn’t blindly follow it and his script talked about the different eras as part of flashbacks related to his few key characters. Whereas in TERI MERI KAHAANI, Kunal adapts the concept as it is from the original giving it his own Indian touch in the three different eras.
Now where the original deals with 1911, 1966 and 2005, this present version deals with 1910, 1960 and 2012. But this time Kunal really works upon the inspired concept and majorly re-shapes it with his own vision converting it into a marginally interesting one. Honestly, I neither liked the Taiwanese film for its lifeless content nor I really loved the present unclear version of Kunal Kohli. However I would like to mention one big difference here, in the way a story can be conceived by two different directors making it more realistic in their own ways.
In TMK, when the script moves into 1910 we get to see the era depicted by colourful sets, people from different religions, British police officers and freedom fight struggle going on in the country along with few peppy songs. But when the Taiwanese film goes into the year 1911, its narration suddenly becomes mute as a silent movie….Why….because obviously it was an era of silent screen communicating with the audience through the running captions. And that’s the difference between the vision of a creative director and a commercial one.
Talking about 3 distinctive love stories happening in 3 different eras in TERI MERI KAHAANI, it basically looks like a direction less project taking you no-where. As it begins with 1960s everything is fine and you enjoy watching the lively era without any major development in the story. But when the same keeps happening in the other two eras too then one becomes restless and starts looking for the basic purpose behind showing all this. In fact till the last 20 minutes of the film, both the viewer and the director remain clueless about what is happening on the screen in a strange manner. And when all the explanations are given in the final reels, one doesn’t feel convinced or interested at all in the way it is depicted.
In short, the first era of the 60s remains the best out of the 3, whereas the representation of 1910 remains the weakest. In between these two, the 2012 version of the love story never rises above the average. So, where the initial 40 minutes of the film are refreshing, the rest showcasing the other two time periods simply give you nothing. And in the end, it really makes you think that why on earth Kunal chose this inspired subject when he never knew what he is going to do with it on the screen. The director also remains confused in his re-creation of the past, both in the sequences of 1910 and 1960. For example, he shows a big flex hoarding being displayed in the year 1960 whereas there were only handmade hoardings or multiple-sheet paper posters used in that time for publicity. Moreover, he takes too many liberties in depicting the complex 1910 era when India was still struggling under the British rule. But here the silver lining in the dark is that probably TERI MERI KAHAANI is the first film ever which takes the British rule over India in such a positive and cool manner. And I seriously wish this was done in a more appealing way coz it could have actually turned the film into something interesting.
Technically, though it was quite cosmetic in looks but still I enjoyed watching the 1960s graphical representation (Set Designing & Cinematography) on screen and loved the spirit in this particular part of the film. But the same cannot be said about the 1910 era as its recreation was in fact way below the mark and not competent at all. In the performance section, both Shahid and Priyanka frankly had nothing to do in the script except looking good and keep smiling. The story dosent give them the opportunity to display a wide variety of emotions and they both majorly remain the same throughout the film. Yet TMK can easily be called a Shahid’s film more than Priyanka's. The pair does well particularly in the first half of the film but frankly I liked Prachi Desai’s small cameo a lot better than Shahid-Priyanka’s complete two hour act put together. Neha Sharma is ok looking quite different from her looks in CROOK and Vrajesh Hirjee is as usual fine in his role of a reporter or detective.
In all, the only merit of TERI MERI KAHAANI is its soundtrack which gives you some good foot tapping numbers keeping you engaged in its otherwise uninteresting storyline. Sajid-Wajid can easily include this film in the list of their better works as the duo's music truly remains the only hero in TMK unarguably.
So you can go for it, in case you love watching your favorite actors doing the same routine song-dance-drama on the screen in a feel good script without any basic storyline. It does have some cool, lovable moments in its 3 love stories happening in 3 different eras. But at the same time TERI MERI KAHAANI is also one of those unexplainable films which strongly forces you to think that ‘How could a lackluster script of this kind get approved by such renowned and image-conscious Stars of the current times?” or “Do these actors ever read the script on which the film is supposed to be made or not?